Pakistan "will get a bloodier nose" if it attempted a misadventure like it did in 1999, Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat said on Friday, in a stern warning to the country on the 20th anniversary of Indian forces' victory in the Kargil War.
"This was a misadventure. Misadventures are normally not repeated. You'll get a bloodier nose next time," General Bipin Rawat said, when asked for his message to Pakistan at a news conference in Jammu and Kashmir's Dras, which saw some of the most intense shelling during Kargil.
India on Friday marked 20 years since its armed forces drove out Pakistani fighters across the Line of Control as Kargil Vijay Diwas.
"I want to convey to our countrymen that you can be rest assured that any task given to defence services will always be accomplished no matter how difficult it is. Our soldiers will continue to man and guard our borders," General Rawat said.
Despite extreme odds such as the high-altitude terrain, Pakistani fighters capturing multiple vantage points India had a decisive victory in the conflict that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LoC).
The war was triggered by Pakistani soldiers disguised infiltrating into positions on the Indian side of the LoC. The Indian Army, supported by the Indian Air Force, took back the area captured by the Pakistani troops and terrorists.
"I recall the statement by then Prime Minister (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee when he said that Indian forces have been directed to remove infiltration. He went to add that even before we launch the forces, we are confident the victory will be ours, and the forces didn't let him down," General Rawat said.
"Icy heights. Difficult circumstances. Indian soldier ensured that the task given to him was completed, he knew that he had to live by the reputation of Indian Army. Today is a day to pay homage to those who laid their lives, those who were wounded and to those who supported the units and formations involved in combat," he added.